Reticulated giraffe

Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata

[Translate to English:] Eine der Giraffen im Tierpark Hellabrunn. IUCN Red List endangerment category:
  • Family
    Giraffes (Giraffidae)
  • Weight
    ♀ 650 kg, ♂ 1.000 kg
  • Habitat

Dizzying height

With a height of up to 6 m, the giraffe is the world’s tallest land animal. A newborn calf is about 1.60 m tall. Calves enter the world from a height of 2 m, falling headfirst to the ground. The fall does not hurt the baby giraffe and within an hour it will be able to stand. It must learn to stand quickly, because there is always a danger of predators. This is also why giraffes only sleep for a few minutes at a time, lying down and using their hindquarters as a pillow to rest the head.

A reticulated giraffe looking around the back.

Big heart

A giraffe’s neck has only seven vertebrae just like humans. However each vertebra can be up to 25.4 cm long! Giraffes also have an enormous heart, which weighs approx. 12 kg and can pump up to 60 litres of blood per minute around the body. Its specially adapted circulatory system ensures that it does not faint every time it raises or lowers its head by preventing insufficient blood flow to the brain.

The reticulated giraffe uses its long, bluish tongue,which extends up to 30 cm long, to strip away the leaves from prickly acacia branches.